This year’s State Triples Championship was held in fine and dry conditions, with the fierce February sun tempered by mild air temperatures.
In the preliminary rounds, reigning champions Dom and Rada Pierre (this time playing with Wayne Twigden) looked on track to repeat their heroics of the previous year. In fact, it took until the fourth round before any opponent managed to score a point against them! However, their run came to an end in an epic semi-final against the Adelaide Hills trio of Greg Anderson, Brian Tuckfield & Anthony Pietsch, in which the score was tied five times and the lead changed on each of the last three ends.
The other finalists were Selina Dally, Craig Stewart and Alexi Alexi, from the Eastern Suburbs club. This team, playing together for the first time, had reached the final with comfortable wins in all but one of their earlier games. The exception was one prelim round in which they had to claw their way back from a 0-6 deficit to win 8-7. That game was against the same team they were now facing in the final. But the result second time around was more decisive and the ESP team finished the day undefeated and holding the trophy. This is Alexi’s third State Triples title, the second for Craig and a first for Selina.
Last year’s Triples was the final component in Dominique’s historic grand slam of four state titles. This year it was Selina’s turn. The reigning champion in Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles had already written her name in the record books as the first female player to concurrently hold three state titles. She has now added a fourth to complete her own grand slam and set the bar very high for all who follow.
Selina was well aware of the significance of the occasion. An opportunity like this might only come once in a lifetime, but she was not in the least bit overawed. Instead, as we’ve come to expect, she rose to the challenge and performed at the highest level throughout. Her achievement was richly deserved.
When receiving the accolades at the end of the day, Selina was quick to also graciously acknowledge the contributions of her triples team-mates Alexi & Craig, and her championship partners in the respective doubles, Deb Rodda and Nick Armstrong. Fortunately the latter two were close at hand, having just received their prize as winners (with Wendy Bensen) of the Consolante.
Well done to all and thanks to ESP for hosting the event.